Roundworms May Be Used to Screen Substances in Battle Against Alzheimer’s

Roundworms May Be Used to Screen Substances in Battle Against Alzheimer’s
California-based researchers from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging created a method capable of screening substances that might be effective in age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease — with the help of roundworms. The new tool, presented at the Allied Genetics Conference in Orlando, Florida, on July 15, makes use of six different strains of roundworms, using the short lifespan and the genetic differences between the strains to quickly screen for substances that might also work in humans. The research leading to the new tool was a collaborative effort, also involving scientists from the University of Oregon and Rutgers University, joining forces in a consortium named the Caenorhabditis Intervention Testing Program (CITP), funded by the National Institute on Aging. "There is a key need for pharmaceuticals that can combat Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease, cancer, and other diseases related to aging," Mark Lucanic, a postdoctoral fellow at the Buck Institute leading the research, said in a news release. "We are trying to identify chemicals or compounds that have potent effects on improving lifespan across multiple organisms because these might have a good chance at turning into future drug leads for treating age-related diseases in humans." The idea for the method came from the notion that aging processes are both complex and likely determined by various genetic factors. Gathering three strains of the roundworm C. elegans and another three fr
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